It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce the release of Faronics Data Igloo 2.0. If this is the first time you are hearing about this free utility, Data Igloo allows you to redirect your data to non-system partitions with just a couple of clicks! You can redirect user profiles, folders, or even registry keys. Best of all, your users won’t even realize that their data is now residing on a non-system partition.
Why redirect data?
It is generally considered best practice to save data on a non-system partition. It reduces the risk of total failure and allows you to easily install a fresh operating system. However, the reason why we developed Data Igloo was to complement Deep Freeze which restores your computers back to your desired setting upon every restart. Deep Freeze is “bullet-proof” so we don’t make any exceptions in its security by allowing data to be saved while in a Frozen state.
How does it all works?
For folder redirection, we use NTFS junction point technology which provides the ability to create a link to a directory which then functions as an alias of that directory. For example, we will move the files from inside the Documents folder to a specified folder on a different partition and create a link back to the original folder – this makes it seem to the user that they are still accessing data from the original Documents folder. In other words, Data Igloo “fools” the operating system into thinking that the data (like the Documents folder) is still residing on the Frozen system drive, when in fact it is physically residing on a Thawed non-system partition (or a virtual ThawSpace created by Deep Freeze).
For user profile redirection, we move the entire user profile to the specified partition and change the system settings to reflect the new location of the user profile. If the “Redirect newly created user profiles to:” option is selected, Data Igloo will monitor for newly created user profiles and redirect them to the specified location – even when Deep Freeze is in a Frozen state.
For registry key redirection, Data Igloo monitors and retains changes of specified registry keys whenever Deep Freeze is in a Frozen state. These changes are made permanent once Deep Freeze is in a Thawed state. As you can imagine, this feature is useful only if the computer is protected by Deep Freeze.
What’s new in Data Igloo 2.0?
This version is compatible with Windows 8 and addresses several issues pertaining to that operating system. An important new enhancement is that all Data Igloo features are now controllable via command line, making it possible to implement scripting solutions to configure Data Igloo on multiple machines. These scripts can be remotely run by any third party desktop management tools such as KACE, SCCM, and Altiris. Another important enhancement we made for enterprise environments is the ability to silently install the product.
We have also removed the restriction for redirecting subfolders of Program Files or Windows in case you wish to redirect program data. For example, it is possible to retain application data using Data Igloo. However, it is important to note that redirected applications must be fully tested to ensure all aspects of the program are possible to redirect and function properly once redirected.
The updated Data Igloo User Guide has many examples in the Appendix for best practices on installing using imaging, redirecting event logs, and redirecting user profiles or programs. To learn more about Data Igloo 2.0, watch this overview video. For a comprehensive list of enhancements, check out the release notes.